Where have all the heroes gone? That question popped into my mind Friday when I learned that Carroll Shelby had died at age 89.
To automotive fanatics like myself, Shelby was the hero of performance cars, starting in the mid-1960s when the Mustang, Camaro and Barracuda dominated our imaginations. Shelby took the Ford Mustang to a level never even considered with the Cobra and Cobra GT models.
While most of his fame came from his modifications of Mustangs, Shelby also shared some of his genius with Chrysler for a few years. While there he took an Omni and converted it from a commuter car to a fire-breathing monster that nearly went airborne when pushed to the limit.
Shelby was more than a gearhead and racer. He was a visionary who put an American-designed, American-built muscle car on a global platform. His appeal was more than mere mechanics and was clearly demonstrated a few years ago when Ford unveiled the latest version of the Mustang on the eve of the Los Angeles Auto show. FULL POST
A tout from President Obama wasn't enough to keep a Toledo, Ohio, restaurant in business.
New Chet's Restaurant, which has been serving home-cooked meals since 1973, will close Sunday, a little more than a week after the president mentioned the eatery during an appearance at a nearby Chrysler Jeep plant.
Obama was in Toledo to talk about the success of the auto industry bailouts, which helped keep Chrysler in business.
"This plant indirectly supports hundreds of other jobs right here in Toledo. After all, without you, who'd eat at Chet's, or Inky's, or Rudy's," the president said last Friday.
The current level of business from the Jeep plant doesn't measure up to what it once was Chet's owner, Richard Lawrence, told CNN affiliate WTVG.
"When they were going full blast, it was wonderful, but when they opened, closed, and closed the shifts, it never came back. We used to deliver $500 a week in food, now $100," he said.
But another piece of government legislation may have been the biggest hit on Chet's business - a 2006 state law banning smoking in public places.
Three things you need to know today:
National Doughnut Day: Friday is the day America celebrates the doughnut.
National Doughnut Day originated with the The Salvation Army in Chicago in 1938 as a salute to the women who served doughnuts to U.S. soldiers during World War I.
The Salvation Army's "doughnut lassies" continued that service during World War II and cemented the doughnut's place in the American diet. If you want to try to duplicate the doughnut lassies' work in your kitchen today, The Salvation Army is providing their original recipe.
If you're not in the mood to celebrate National Doughnut Day in the kitchen, try heading down to your local Krispy Kreme or Dunkin' Donuts.
Krispy Kreme is offering a free doughnut to all customers at participating locations.
At participating Dunkin' Donuts, customers will get a free doughnut with the purchase of a beverage.
Obama and autos: President Barack Obama heads to Toledo, Ohio, on Friday where he'll visit Chrysler's Jeep Wrangler assembly plant.
Obama will use the Toledo visit to emphasize why the government bailouts of Chrysler and General Motors were successful, CNN affiliate WTVG in Toledo reports.
Chrysler announced recently that it will repay government bailout loans six years ahead of schedule.
Among those expected to be in attendance for Obama's visit is Jeep assembly line worker James Fayson, according to a Toledo Blade report.
Fayson, 36, will appear in Obama 2012 campaign commercials explaining how the bailout allowed him to return to work after being laid off in 2009, the Blade reported.
Shaq's announcement: Four-time NBA champion Shaquille O'Neal will formally announce his retirement from basketball Friday during a news conference at his Florida home.
O'Neal first said Wednesday afternoon that he was going to hang up his jersey. The 39-year-old posted a link to a video on his Twitter account.
In a brief message he said: "We did it. Nineteen years, baby. I want to thank you very much. That's why I'm telling you first. I'm about to retire. Love you. Talk to you soon."
O'Neal has been dogged by injuries in the latter stages of his career and played only 37 games for the Boston Celtics this season after struggling with an Achilles tendon problem.
He returned for two playoff games against the Miami Heat but managed just 12 minutes and he told an ESPN reporter that he didn't want to let Celtics fans down.
O'Neal won three titles with the Los Angeles Lakers after forming a devastating partnership with Kobe Bryant, and added a fourth in 2006 with the Miami Heat.
With 28,596 points, O'Neal is fifth on the all-time NBA scoring list and is second only to Michael Jordan on the all-time list of NBA Finals Most Valuable Player Awards.